THEY PROVIDED A JPG OF THEIR LOGO.
YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT...
Was that a captivating enough headline for you? I thought I'd try to suck you in with that sneaky, cheep ploy. Did it work? I hope so because if you are a business owner, want to start a business, have a logo, need one created or you think you can design one, this is probably the single most important blog post you will read (in terms of saving you boatloads of heartache and money in the future).
I'm not sure if I can adequately convey the importance of having an EPS version of your logo, at least not until I fully explain what it is, why it's needed, how it's created and why, if you only get one version of your logo, it should be an EPS.
So, what's an EPS file?
An EPS file is a vector file. Explains everything, right? Ha ha. So a vector file is a set of mathematical calculations, patterns, lines, points and all that confusing algebra stuff you wanted no part of in high school (or general everyday life) used to create a design. It's typically created using Adobe Illustrator. WARNING: Using Photoshop to design a logo is a huge no-no. Photoshop creates raster images. You will not be happy with yourself if you or someone you hire uses photoshop to create your logo. Please trust me on this.
Why is vector so important?
A vector file is designed to be enlarged or reduced as big or small as you need it. It never loses it's shape, does not become blurry, and will maintain the integrity of your design no matter where you put it or how big you want it to be. You can also easily change its colours, place it on top of a dark background, embroider it on a t-shirt, stick it on a billboard, or a tiny promotional pen.
How does a vector file (EPS, AI) differ from a raster/bitmap file (JPG, PNG)?
A vector does all of the above. A raster or bitmap is basically a formation of dots on a page that create an image. If you enlarge that image, the dots don't connect to fill in the negative space, they just get blurry. A vector file will use math (our new favourite thing) to fill in the gaps to maintain the integrity of the design. A raster does not have the ability to do that. I mentioned in a previous post that a JPG is like taking a small photo and attempting to enlarge it on a photocopier. The bigger you make it, the blurrier it gets. If you make it huge, you can actually see the "dots".
If you only ask for one version of your logo, make sure it is a true EPS.
If you have a legitimate vector EPS file of your logo, you can then create any other formats from that. I say legitimate because I've encountered several (and by several, I mean, on an almost monthly basis) that when I request the EPS file of the logo, the client sends it to me but it was just that same raster/bitmap/jpg saved as an EPS. Nice try! I wish it were that easy.
It has to be created originally as a vector file in order to be a true EPS file so if you don't have one, you'll likely need it recreated the right way. This is why hiring a professional graphic designer from the get-go can save you time, money and heartache in the long run. Once you have that magical EPS file, you can save it as a PNG, a JPG, a PDF, and live happily ever after knowing that whatever design circumstances arise, you've got the logo format to cover it.
**If you're interested in learning how to design your own logo the right way, sign up for the 5-Day Logo Design Challenge here!
Up next on the blog: Have you ever wondered how to remove the white background from your logo or an image? Stay tuned for next week's post on EPS/PNG files vs JPG and the issue of transparency. **This is especially important if you provide your logo for sponsorship marketing/opportunities.